Several times in the past we’ve spotlighted guys like Buddy Knox, Sonny Curtis, and a few others who all seemed cut from the same cloth as Buddy Holly. They hailed from the same part of the country, had a similar musical style, and inevitably spent some time at the iconic studio of Norman Petty in Clovis, N.M. All of which also applies to today’s subject, Terry Noland — or at least it did in the early days.
When young Texan Terry Noland Church began pursuing a musical career in the mid-1950s, one of the first things he did was drop off his last name. He also didn’t waste any time finding his way into the mix at Petty’s Clovis studio, at one point fronting a group called the Four Teens. Some of his early records were good examples of what we now call rockabilly, but success was elusive and many of them didn’t get past the demo stage.
Phase two of Noland’s career occurred when the young performer surfaced in New York later in the decade and tried his hand at a more pop-oriented style. He did manage to sell some records over the next few years, often playing to the pop crowd with songs like “Puppy Love” and “Teenage Teardrops.” But he also returned to his earlier sound at times, and in the long run it would be his rockabilly records that would be most remembered and appreciated by fans of the era, with songs like “Ten Little Women” and “Hypnotized” among his best.
Within a few years, Noland was pretty much ready to leave music behind. He eventually went back to Texas and later Oklahoma, and is said to have done very well in real estate. He would be in his seventies now.